As I revise for the MB2-718 exam (Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service) I’m creating blog posts detailing all aspects of my revision. I hope these posts will aid anyone who is also revising for this exam. In this post I will review the setup & configuration of Field Service.
For reference I have shown the skills measured statement for the Field Service section of the MB2-718 exam below. Many of the items mentioned will be impacted by setup & configuration! Making understanding how to configure the Field Service application an important topic.
In my introductory posts I described many entities which must be configured to support your implementation of Field Service, including resources, products and services. (Plus many more.) In addition to items like this you will also need to understand how security roles are applied in Field Service and what administrative settings we have available.
Collectively all of these thing cover a large amount of concepts! Because of this I will break this post down into several parts;
- Part One – Security roles and admin settings
- Part Two (This post)– Products and Services
- Part Three – Resources
A product or service is simply anything you sell. They can be added to work orders manually or via an incident. It is also possible for the field engineer to add products directly to a work order from the mobile app.
Also in the mobile application the engineer may mark when a product assigned to the work order as an estimated quantity has been used.
Each product or service has a “Field Service Product Type” field. The options include;
- Inventory – Products that are sold and deducted from inventory. (Implying we hold stock of them in a warehouse.)
- Non-inventory – Products that are sold but don’t require inventory.
- Service – “products” that are sold on a time basis. Such as the amount of time an engineer spends installing a piece of equipment. Services can be sold in units of time, additionally the service engineers can manually enter actual time spent.
Tip: The duration for a service on a work order can be manually calculated from the start / end times the engineer entered in the mobile application. Or alternatively it can be based on the elapsed time between work order status changes.
After installing Field Service additional fields are added to the product entity to support Field Service’s extended functionality. The fields that are used will differ depending on the product being an inventory item, non-inventory or service. You can access products from the product catalog option under settings (as is standard) or from the Field Service administration area.
Product Status -The product life cycle
First of all, it is important to understand that each product or service has a status. When initially created that status is draft. Whilst in draft status the product will not be available to work orders. Only once the product has been published does it become available. (As is the case generally with including products in opportunities etc.)
Once published you can continue to edit the product details but there may be an occasion when you want to temporarily stop the use of the product whilst it is updated. In this situation you use the “revise” option, which gives the product a status of “Under revision”. And therefore makes it not available to work orders.
When a product or service reaches end of life it should not be deleted, the status is changed “Retired”.
Note: Keep in mind that Field Service makes use of the standard product catalog from Dynamics 365. Meaning you may need to be aware of other concepts such as product bundles or product families.
Services are simply products that have been defined as services. Once Field Service is installed a new tab is added to the product specific to Field Service.
You will need to define the “Field Service Product Type” field, in the case of a service it will be set to “Service”. Once set this field can’t be changed. (You can’t change a service into an inventory item!)
Once defined as a service many of the additional fields become read-only, as they only apply to inventory and non-inventory items. You can however define if this service is a taxable item or not. (If it is a taxable item the service tax type field on the account comes into play to decide what rate of tax to calculate.)
A note about unit groups, all products (including services need a unit group). This is used in pricelists to govern the rate at which the service is billed. In the case of a service it will be typical to give them a unit group of time. And then select a default unit group of days or hours.
Again most of the fields found on a Field Service product will be standard but you should pay particular attention to the information found in the Field Service tab.
Inventory and non-inventory products have additional values available that help support purchasing. Including holding details of the vendor who supplies the product, the name and part number used when purchasing and the products manufacturer.
For inventory and non-inventory products you can also store a model number and UPC Code (barcode) for the product.
And if the product should convert into a customer asset.. Field Service contains a concept of customer equipment (assets). You may want to use this to record what equipment a customer has on-site. For example: If you installed an air conditioning unit for a customer you many want to record its details against the customer, as that could be useful for future service requests etc.
We will need to understand how price lists can be used to define the sales prices for our products and services. The price list option within Field Service does make use of the standard Dynamics 365 price list functionality but it has some important extensions that are specific to providing services. With field work it could be common to want to make the first hour of a visit not chargeable or have a minimum call out charge that is automatically added to the cost of a job. The extensions provide functionality to support these types of situations.
NOTE: Price lists are associated with work orders, however if you consume a product or service not included in the price list on the work order then the “list price” from the product will be used. It is very important to be aware of this.
Out of the box “standard CRM” offers the ability to derive a product’s price based on a specific value or as a % markup / margin. (The out of the box pricing methods are shown below.)
The table below highlights that we have three additional pricing methods for products defined a services. Those being to apply a minimum charge amount, minimum charge duration or to work with a flat fee.
Initially you create a price list in the normal way, giving it a name and currency. I’ve shown an example below;
Having created your price list, you then need to add price list items, which are the products or services you sell. Below is an example of my price list item. Price list items are a standard feature of Microsoft Dynamics. They include the ability to base a price on list price, cost price, standard cost or simply to enter a value. Prices can be calculated as a mark-up or margin. You can also define rounding rules and even create a discount list which gives a percentage discount based on volume. I won’t cover all of the possible options here as this is standard CRM stuff. But the options available are pretty flexible.
If you would like additional information on standard pricing options this post might help.
Within Field Service you will have two types of items on price lists. Products and services. For products the options available on a standard price list item should be sufficient. But when we start to think about the pricing of services some additional options might be nice! To enable additional functionality a second entity of “Field Service Price list Item” has been added. So having added your standard pricelist item you can optionally add more details. You access Field Service Price List Items from the price list item navigation bar.
Tip: Services will be defined as price list items and additionally have “Field Service Price List Items”. The combination of both of these will be required to calculate the final price.
Here is a Field Service price list item example, I’ve given a table below to explain these additional options.
|Name||This is simply a name for this item in the price list|
|Duration round to||Rounding for the duration. My entry of 15 minutes essentially means I will bill in 15 minute chunks.|
|Flat fee||Yes / no. Let’s you decide if a fixed fee for this service applies or if the billing is based on duration.|
|Minimum charge duration||Used to make x amount of time “free”. (Or not, as the minimum charge amount will apply.)|
|Product / Service||The product or service (typically service!) that this price list item relates to.|
|Duration Rounding Policy||Options include, none, up, down and nearest.|
|Minimum Charge Amount||Sets minimum amount for a visit, the value is added on to the final payment regardless of the amount of charged.|
|Price List||This is the price list that the Field Service price list item relates to.|
Tip: As part of your revision you may want to experiment with price lists! They are quite flexible and therefore have a comprehensive set options. Some hands on time will certainly help you.
Products (or services) can have a default price list. You need to be aware if a work order is associated with a different price list the work order price list will apply. However if the product isn’t in the work order price list the price will come from the default price list on the product.
Hopefully this post will have given you a good introduction to the concepts associated with products, services and price lists.